Legislation on cryptocurrencies on hold
The Portuguese financial authorities are to put a new legal framework to govern trading with cryptocurrencies on hold.
Bank of Portugal Director Luís Laginha wants to instead wait until the European Regulation on the Cryptoasset Market (MiCA) comes into force.
New rules in the European Union require cryptocurrency businesses to operate with a licence and mandate that stablecoin issuers hold reserves like those banks have – part of a landmark effort by the bloc to regulate a chaotic sector.
Following almost two years of negotiations, the European Council and Parliament agreed over the summer on the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) proposal to bring digital asset businesses under a regulatory framework for the first time. The provisional agreement is subject to final approval before being formally adopted.
Luís Laginha and Inês Drummond (A University of Porto professor), who have both been put forward by the Ministry of Finances for the Presidency and Vice Presidency of Portuguese stock market commission CMVM, prefer to wait for the European regulations to come into force, before building a national legal framework.
Until that time, they have promised to redouble warnings to investors on the risk that these types of assets carry.
In a parliamentary hearing, Luís Laginha reminded the Budget & Finance Committee of the Portuguese Parliament that a legal framework did not yet exist for the CMVM to be able to become more involved in the topic, particularly the “danger of drawing up measures within a national context when the reality changes from one day to the next”.